A couple of days ago, we talked about the best tips for taking care of a blind or visually impaired individual after CNA training. Today, we’re going to take things a step farther and talk about how to address or act around a guide dog.
It’s important to note that guide dogs are not just used by blind individuals; they can be trained to help individuals with a variety of disabilities. They help their handlers travel, live more independently at home, and inform others when something is wrong with their handler; for instance, some guide dogs are trained to bark or act a certain way when their handler is about to have a seizure or has low blood sugar.
Guide dogs also come in all shapes and sizes. While the movies may depict them all as being golden retrievers or Labrador retrievers, guide dogs can be as small as Chihuahuas or as large as a Mastiff. Service dogs may not wear any identification, either, as it is not required. What is required, however, is access to any public place; this is a right protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When you come into contact with a service dog after CNA training, whether in the workplace or in public, it’s important to know how to act.
Tips for Being Around Guide Dogs After CNA Training
- Don’t distract the dog after CNA training. Remember that guide dogs are working, even whent hey are lying down or sitting. Don’t pet them, call out to them by barking, clucking, or meowing, or distract them in any other way. Let them concentrate so they can keep their partner safe.
- Don’t feed the guide dog, even a treat. These dogs are on strict feeding schedules because it allows them to remain in better health and have more reliable schedules for relieving themselves.
- If you want to help a patient with a guide dog after CNA training, always ask if they need help first. Never grab the harness or leash of the dog; this can lead to confusion. Offer your assistance and do what they ask only. If you think they are in danger, voice your concern, but do so in a calm manner that doesn’t involve pushing or pulling on the dog or the individual.
- If you are asked to assist a patient with a guide dog after CNA training, stand on the opposite side the dog is standing.
- If you want to pet the dog after CNA training, always ask permission from the handler. If they say no, respect their wishes.
- Always talk to the handler or patient; don’t talk to the dog. Again, this can be distracting for the dog.
Guide Dogs and You After CNA Training
Guide dogs should, and almost always are well behaved and settled when they are working or are at rest. They will most often avoid temptations, like chewing on objects and begging for food, and they should respond quickly to their handler’s commands. After CNA training, though, you can be a distraction to the dog. Make sure you take the time to think about how you are approaching and guide team on the street or in the workplace after CNA training.